Words cut deep
The philosophy of clothing design is a reflection of the times, incorporating social phenomena and cultural atmosphere, reflecting people's pursuit of fashion and aesthetics. "One click can break someone’s heart." In today's society, cyberbullying among teenagers is a hot topic. The quick and sharp impact of fast keyboard comments and online remarks has caused irreversible damage to the mental and physical health of teenagers. In contrast, the old-fashioned lead type printing made letters and words transmitted slowly, often taking months to receive a letter, so people paid great attention to the wording in letters. This feeling brings us back to the traditional warmth of the paper era and allows us to rediscover the weight of writing and words . In the design, these phenomena are combined to present a reflective and warning attitude. The use of lead type and engraved lines symbolizes the portrayal of cyberbullying on the mental world of young people. The tongue has no bones, but it can pierce the heart. These scars left by these sharp words may leave irreversible wounds in their lifetime. I used leather carving to represent these scars, incisions, or brands by forcefully striking the leather with lead type stamps used in letterpress printing. The dark red part is the seal carving, a traditional Chinese art form that uses specialized carving knives to engrave Chinese characters or patterns onto hard materials. Each seal carving has a unique meaning. Interestingly, I transformed English letters into the style of seal carving, making them look like ancient seal script. At the same time, I chose black to represent the color of the dark side. The black part on the front is the Chinese character "暴," meaning violence, and "舌," meaning tongue, to indicate that a boneless tongue can deeply hurt people. Finally, the words "刀," "刃," and "力" respectively represent "knife," "blade," and "force," indicating that words can change into different forms depending on how people use it. If used to harm others, it becomes a blade, and words can also be powerful. The black part on the back is "良," which comes from the proverb: "One warm word can make three winter months feel warm, but one hurtful word can make June feel cold." This means that a warm and encouraging word can make people feel warm like three winter months, but one hurtful word can make people feel cold like in a cold June. The symmetrical design on the front and back is not only to pay tribute to traditional book pages but also to highlight the contrast between good and bad words. I hope to use the dyeing and rubbing technique on leather to present a sense of spreading and erosion. This design aims to reflect and raise awareness about the impact of online discourse on the mental health of teenagers. The use of letterpress and engraved patterns symbolizes the way in which online speech can leave a lasting impression on young minds. Like a tongue, which has no bones yet can pierce the heart, these sharp words can leave lifelong scars. I utilized the characteristics of leather, using engraving and letterpress stamps to create the impression of scars, marks, or branding. The dark red section features Chinese seal engraving, a traditional art form that uses specialized knives to carve Chinese characters and designs onto hard materials. Each seal has a unique meaning. Interestingly, I transformed English letters into the appearance of Chinese seal script, giving them an ancient look. Black is used to represent the dark side, with the Chinese character for "violence" and the word "tongue" to symbolize how a boneless tongue can deeply hurt people. Finally, the characters for "knife," "blade," and "power" represent the idea that words can take different forms depending on how people use it. If used to hurt people, it becomes a blade. Words can also be powerful and should not be underestimated. The black section on the back features the character for "good" and a Chinese proverb that says, "One warm word in winter is worth three hundred pieces of gold; one hurtful word in summer can kill." The symmetric design is not only an homage to traditional book pages but also emphasizes the contrast between good and bad words. I hope to convey a sense of spreading and eroding through leather dyeing and rubbing. However, this design is not just about warning people. I also hope to inspire teenagers to think about how they can face and respond to online discourse. Therefore, I added some impactful words in the dark red seal section of the clothing, such as "Don't be pierced by words" and a contrast using the computer keyboard commands "Control, Escape, Delete," hoping to convey a positive message to teenagers.(Besides, aren't these magical pictograms charming and adorable?) Overall, my design philosophy is to combine real social issues with traditional culture, reflect these problems through clothing, and convey positive information and attitudes. In this digital age, it is necessary to pay attention to and take care of teenagers' online problems.